Derrick Campana isn’t your typical… anything. He’s a prosthetics engineer helping animals walk again – or walk for the first time – with artificial limbs.
In the old days when an animal had a broken leg, they would often be euthanized–and only if they were very lucky would they wind up with a leg cast. Derrick Campana wants to put those days in the past. He’s creating prosthetics and casts for all manner of animals–from cats to llamas, dogs to elephants, even cows and deer. He’s been called the real life Dr. Doolittle–or even the ‘bionic vet’ for his work melding animal and machine. Freethink’s Chase Pipkin went to his workspace to talk to him about his journey from creating prosthetics for humans to making them for pets and exotic animals. He discusses his creative ideas for keeping prosthetic limbs affordable how he gets animals from cats to elephants walking again by making each and individualized prosthesis.